I've lived in Memphis my whole life, and learned about the Northaven community from the first time I picked up a Handy Map.
I think I have one solution that will help this community more than anything: Rebuild the Benjestown Road bridge.
Since the late 70s, I've been seeing "Bridge Out" on maps of Frayser and Northaven when referring to Benjestown Road over the Loosahatchie River. It's been "out" for so long that modern mapmakers (like Google) refuse to acknowledge there ever was one.
If you pull up Google Maps and search for "4008 Benjestown Rd., Memphis", you will be very close to the former intersection of Benjestown Rd. and Old Cuba-Benjestown Rd. After toggling with Street View, I discovered a few of the signs of the former Northhaven stretch, such as red diamonds blocking off the former crossing, and a orange sign further up stating "Street Closed, 500 Ft."
Because (honest) visitors have to drive an out-of-the-way distance from N. Watkins or Thomas St. (U.S. 51), many people have written the unincorporated neighborhood off as "not worth the trouble".
If the Benjestown Rd. span were rebuilt (either as a 2-lane or 4-lane road), more aspiring homeowners would take a second look and think of settling in the Northaven community. The alternative is having two Dead Ends more than a mile long each, which seem enticing to gangs, sex fiends and the like.
By Leonard Gill
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